Court Observation Week is a mandatory component of La Verne Law’s first-year curriculum. During Court Observation Week, first-year students watch civil trials, criminal trials, drug treatment court proceedings, and other judicial proceedings over a four-day period at the San Bernardino Justice Center in San Bernardino. On the fifth day, first-year evening students observe probate and mental health related proceedings at the San Bernardino Superior Court located inside the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health Clinic in Colton.
This year, more than 80 students and nearly of all of La Verne Law’s faculty participated in Court Observation Week during the week of January 4th. In addition to observing trials from jury selection through verdict, students also had numerous opportunities to engage in question and answer sessions with the San Bernardino Superior Court judges and staff, as well as the attorneys who were trying cases. As an added bonus, the San Bernardino Court Administrator, Chris Volkers, arranged for students to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the still-new courthouse, which included the lock-up facilities. Students who attended Court Observation at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center had the unique opportunity to see what happens when our behavioral health and legal systems intersect. Court Observation Week is an integral part of La Verne Law’s mission “to guide our students in the discovery of law and self as they prepare for the practice of law or other professional careers.” We are fortunate to have the San Bernardino Superior Court as our partner in fulfilling this mission. Based on our survey of participants, both students and faculty found this year’s Court Observation Week enlightening, educational and, at times, entertaining! We are already looking forward to next year!